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Merry Christmas from Skin Inc. magazine!

Posted: December 22, 2008

To help you survive the stress of the season, here are 15 tips to follow in order to make this Christmas holidays a period of joy and happiness.

1. Make priorities. Before you find yourself tight up with too many activities and obligations, decide what activities have a positive influence on you and offer you something important and which are superfluous. Select to participate in those that are important to you and enjoy them, leaving aside those you do not like. For example, if you are drowned by the idea that you would have to prepare heaps of homemade sweets and candy, then perhaps a good idea would be to purchase them or order them from someone who makes homemade candy.

2. Change your expectations about family gatherings. Either with friends or with relatives, it is good to know your limits and know how long you want to spend with others, as well as how long with yourself or a very closed circle. Remember from previous years what pleased you and what caused you stress and act accordingly. Perhaps you should review how many family gatherings you need to organize for your relatives and how many family parties you must attend. Examine the must-go options, and accept that in life there is also the option of saying no. Also, put limits on how long you will spend on family gatherings and what are you willing to tolerate from disruptive relatives. To know when to say no will help you avoid the excessive overload, and it will also let you enjoy holidays more.

3. Organize and plan. Organize and plan what you have to do, prepare before Christmas to-do lists with the things that you need to do, and consider how realistic your plans are. For example, organize the list of gifts not only with the things you have to buy, but also with what stores and the location of each store. This way you can group stores by area and save time during the shopping process. Start with the most important and finish with the minor. Allow time for yourself to do things that are important for you. Do not expect everything to be perfect—accept that you have limits, like the rest of the world.

4. Be realistic. First of all, try to have realistic expectations about the holidays. Not being able to meet the often-excessive expectations is what creates feelings of stress and depression.

5. Enjoy the holidays. Avoid putting all your energy and expectations on Christmas Day or on New Year's Eve. Instead, try living and enjoying every day of the holidays. This will leave you with a much more holiday satisfaction.